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Growing the “Growth-Mindset”

In certain ways it may appear counter intuitive:

Top notch leaders with a lot left to learn?…

Experts in their field who continuously seek out more knowledge?…

And yet, research tells us over and over, ” leaders who are in learning mode develop stronger leadership skills than their peers.”  A recent article in the Harvard Business Review by Dave Wheeler, Good Leaders are Good Learners  breaks this down.

Here’s a 2 minute overview on the concept:

If you aren’t familiar with the work of Susan Ashford or Scott DeRue we highly recommend spending the time to check out their work on growth mindset.  This article Good Leaders are Good Learners   references Ashford and DeRue’s expertise as well as the all important experiential learning cycle:

  • Set challenging goals (I need to learn how to…)
  • Intentionally try novel or new strategies (I usually do X, but I will try Y)
  • Actively engage in critical self-reflection (What went well? What did not? In the future I will…)

Wheeler encourages leaders who are committed to development and mindfully challenging their fixed mindset (as opposed to growth mindset) to ask themselves regularly: “Am I in learning mode right now?”  In addition to that, work towards modeling for others that mistakes are opportunities for learning and candid reflection

It appears the bottom line to prosperity in leadership is a humble commitment to acknowledging blind spots and growing expertise through a consistent search for knowledge and a helicopter view of our performance. This is good news for leaders exhausting themselves in an effort to preserve a veneer of perfection or the illusion of omnipotence. 




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